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  1. CICART Center For Integrated Computation And Analysis Of Reconnection And Turbulence

    CICART is a partnership between the University of New Hampshire (UNH) and Dartmouth College. CICART addresses two important science needs of the DoE: the basic understanding of magnetic reconnection and turbulence that strongly impacts the performance of fusion plasmas, and the development of new mathematical and computational tools that enable the modeling and control of these phenomena. The principal participants of CICART constitute an interdisciplinary group, drawn from the communities of applied mathematics, astrophysics, computational physics, fluid dynamics, and fusion physics. It is a main premise of CICART that fundamental aspects of magnetic reconnection and turbulence in fusion devices, smaller-scalemore » laboratory experiments, and space and astrophysical plasmas can be viewed from a common perspective, and that progress in understanding in any of these interconnected fields is likely to lead to progress in others. The establishment of CICART has strongly impacted the education and research mission of a new Program in Integrated Applied Mathematics in the College of Engineering and Applied Sciences at UNH by enabling the recruitment of a tenure-track faculty member, supported equally by UNH and CICART, and the establishment of an IBM-UNH Computing Alliance. The proposed areas of research in magnetic reconnection and turbulence in astrophysical, space, and laboratory plasmas include the following topics: (A) Reconnection and secondary instabilities in large high-Lundquist-number plasmas, (B) Particle acceleration in the presence of multiple magnetic islands, (C) Gyrokinetic reconnection: comparison with fluid and particle-in-cell models, (D) Imbalanced turbulence, (E) Ion heating, and (F) Turbulence in laboratory (including fusion-relevant) experiments. These theoretical studies make active use of three high-performance computer simulation codes: (1) The Magnetic Reconnection Code, based on extended two-fluid (or Hall MHD) equations, in an Adaptive Mesh Refinement (AMR) framework, (2) the Particle Simulation Code, a fully electromagnetic 3D Particle-In-Cell (PIC) code that includes a collision operator, and (3) GS2, an Eulerian, electromagnetic, kinetic code that is widely used in the fusion program, and simulates the nonlinear gyrokinetic equations, together with a self-consistent set of Maxwell’s equations.« less
  2. The effects of kinetic instabilities on the electron cyclotron emission from runaway electrons

    In this paper we show that the kinetic instabilities associated with runaway electron beams play an essential role for the production of high-level non-thermal electron–cyclotron-emission (ECE) radiation. Most of the non-thermal ECE comes from runaway electrons in the low-energy regime with large pitch angle, which are strongly scattered by the excited whistler waves. The power of ECE from runaway electrons is obtained using a synthetic diagnostic model based on the reciprocity method. The electron distribution function is calculated using a kinetic simulation model including the whistler wave instabilities and the quasilinear diffusion effects. Simulations based on DIII-D low-density discharge reproducesmore » the rapid growth of the ECE signals observed in DIII-D experiments. Unlike the thermal ECE where radiation for a certain frequency is strongly localized inside the resonance region, the non-thermal ECE radiation from runaway electrons is nonlocal, and the emission-absorption ratio is higher than that of thermal electrons. The runaway electron tail is more significant for ECE with higher frequencies, and the ECE spectrum becomes flatter as RE population grows. The nonlinear behavior of the kinetic instabilities is illustrated in the oscillations of the ECE waves. In conclusion, the good agreement with the DIII-D experimental observations after including the kinetic instabilities clearly illustrate the significance of the scattering effects from wave-particle interactions, which can also be important for runaway electrons produced in disruptions.« less
    Cited by 1
  3. Role of Kinetic Instability in Runaway-Electron Avalanches and Elevated Critical Electric Fields

    Here, the effects of kinetic whistler wave instabilities on the runaway-electron (RE) avalanche is investigated. With parameters from experiments at the DIII-D National Fusion Facility, we show that RE scattering from excited whistler waves can explain several poorly understood experimental results. We find an enhancement of the RE avalanche for low density and high electric field, but for high density and low electric field the scattering can suppress the avalanche and raise the threshold electric field, bringing the present model much closer to observations. The excitation of kinetic instabilities and the scattering of resonant electrons are calculated self-consistently using amore » quasilinear model and local approximation. We also explain the observed fast growth of electron cyclotron emission signals and excitation of very low-frequency whistler modes observed in the quiescent RE experiments at DIII-D tokamak. Simulations using ITER parameters show that by controlling the background thermal plasma density and temperature, the plasma waves can also be excited spontaneously in tokamak disruptions and the avalanche generation of runaway electrons may be suppressed.« less
  4. A tight-coupling scheme sharing minimum information across a spatial interface between gyrokinetic turbulence codes

    A new scheme that tightly couples kinetic turbulence codes across a spatial interface is introduced. This scheme evolves from considerations of competing strategies and down-selection. It is found that the use of a composite kinetic distribution function and fields with global boundary conditions as if the coupled code were one makes the coupling problem tractable. In contrast, coupling the two solutions from each code across the overlap region is found to be more difficult due to numerical dephasing of the turbulent solutions between two solvers. Finally, another advantage of the new scheme is that the data movement can be limitedmore » to the 3D fluid quantities, instead of higher dimensional kinetic information, which is computationally more efficient for large scale simulations on leadership class computers.« less
  5. The Dehydration of Water Worlds via Atmospheric Losses

    We present a three-species multi-fluid magnetohydrodynamic model (H{sup +}, H{sub 2}O{sup +}, and e {sup −}), endowed with the requisite atmospheric chemistry, that is capable of accurately quantifying the magnitude of water ion losses from exoplanets. We apply this model to a water world with Earth-like parameters orbiting a Sun-like star for three cases: (i) current normal solar wind conditions, (ii) ancient normal solar wind conditions, and (iii) one extreme “Carrington-type” space weather event. We demonstrate that the ion escape rate for (ii), with a value of 6.0 × 10{sup 26} s{sup −1}, is about an order of magnitude highermore » than the corresponding value of 6.7 × 10{sup 25} s{sup −1} for (i). Studies of ion losses induced by space weather events, where the ion escape rates can reach ∼10{sup 28} s{sup −1}, are crucial for understanding how an active, early solar-type star (e.g., with frequent coronal mass ejections) could have accelerated the depletion of the exoplanet’s atmosphere. We briefly explore the ramifications arising from the loss of water ions, especially for planets orbiting M-dwarfs where such effects are likely to be significant.« less
  6. Final Technical Report: Magnetic Reconnection in High-Energy Laser-Produced Plasmas

    This report describes the final results from the DOE Grant DE-SC0007168, “Fast Magnetic Reconnection in HED Laser-Produced Plasmas.” The recent generation of laboratory high-energy-density physics facilities has opened significant physics opportunities for experimentally modeling astrophysical plasmas. The goal of this proposal is to use these new tools to study fundamental problems in plasma physics and plasma astrophysics. Fundamental topics in this area involve study of the generation, amplification, and fate of magnetic fields, which are observed to pervade the plasma universe and govern its evolution. This project combined experiments at DOE laser facilities with kinetic plasma simulation to study thesemore » processes. The primary original goal of the project was to study magnetic reconnection using a new experimental platform, colliding magnetized laser-produced plasmas. However through a series of fortuitous discoveries, the work broadened out to allow significant advancement on multiple topics in laboratory astrophysics, including magnetic reconnection, Weibel instability, and collisionless shocks.« less
  7. Momentum transport and nonlocality in heat-flux-driven magnetic reconnection in high-energy-density plasmas

    Recent theory has demonstrated a novel physics regime for magnetic reconnection in high-energy-density plasmas where the magnetic field is advected by heat flux via the Nernst effect. In this paper, we elucidate the physics of the electron dissipation layer in this regime. Through fully kinetic simulation and a generalized Ohm's law derived from first principles, we show that momentum transport due to a nonlocal effect, the heat-flux-viscosity, provides the dissipation mechanism for magnetic reconnection. Scaling analysis, and simulations show that the reconnection process comprises a magnetic field compression stage and quasisteady reconnection stage, and the characteristic width of the currentmore » sheet in this regime is several electron mean-free paths. Finally, these results show the important interplay between nonlocal transport effects and generation of anisotropic components to the distribution function.« less
    Cited by 1
  8. The Dehydration of Water Worlds via Atmospheric Losses

    Here, we present a three-species multi-fluid magnetohydrodynamic model (H +, H 2O +, and e ), endowed with the requisite atmospheric chemistry, that is capable of accurately quantifying the magnitude of water ion losses from exoplanets. We apply this model to a water world with Earth-like parameters orbiting a Sun-like star for three cases: (i) current normal solar wind conditions, (ii) ancient normal solar wind conditions, and (iii) one extreme "Carrington-type" space weather event. We demonstrate that the ion escape rate for (ii), with a value of 6.0 × 10 26 s –1, is about an order of magnitude highermore » than the corresponding value of 6.7 × 10 25 s –1 for (i). Studies of ion losses induced by space weather events, where the ion escape rates can reach ~10 28 s –1, are crucial for understanding how an active, early solar-type star (e.g., with frequent coronal mass ejections) could have accelerated the depletion of the exoplanet's atmosphere. We briefly explore the ramifications arising from the loss of water ions, especially for planets orbiting M-dwarfs where such effects are likely to be significant.« less
  9. Adjoint Fokker-Planck equation and runaway electron dynamics

    The adjoint Fokker-Planck equation method is applied to study the runaway probability function and the expected slowing-down time for highly relativistic runaway electrons, including the loss of energy due to synchrotron radiation. In direct correspondence to Monte Carlo simulation methods, the runaway probability function has a smooth transition across the runaway separatrix, which can be attributed to effect of the pitch angle scattering term in the kinetic equation. However, for the same numerical accuracy, the adjoint method is more efficient than the Monte Carlo method. The expected slowing-down time gives a novel method to estimate the runaway current decay timemore » in experiments. A new result from this work is that the decay rate of high energy electrons is very slow when E is close to the critical electric field. This effect contributes further to a hysteresis previously found in the runaway electron population.« less
  10. Gyrokinetic particle simulations of the effects of compressional magnetic perturbations on drift-Alfvenic instabilities in tokamaks

    The compressional component of magnetic perturbation δB- || to can play an important role in drift-Alfvenic instabilities in tokamaks, especially as the plasma β increases (β is the ratio of kinetic pressure to magnetic pressure). In this work, we have formulated a gyrokinetic particle simulation model incorporating δB- ||, and verified the model in kinetic Alfven wave simulations using the Gyrokinetic Toroidal Code in slab geometry. Simulations of drift-Alfvenic instabilities in tokamak geometry shows that the kinetic ballooning mode (KBM) growth rate decreases more than 20% when δB- || is neglected for β e = 0.02, and that δB- ||more » to has stabilizing effects on the ion temperature gradient instability, but negligible effects on the collisionless trapped electron mode. Lastly, the KBM growth rate decreases about 15% when equilibrium current is neglected.« less
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"Bhattacharjee, Amitava"

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